Effective Issue Management in SAP Projects

issue management in SAP projects
issue management in SAP projects

Why is Issue Management in SAP projects important?

No matter how well your project team is performing and you as an SAP Project Manager are managing your project, there will be issues happening that will need to be resolved.

No Matter How many issues, the kind of issues, and the severity of the issues you will be facing, you as an SAP Project Manager needs to be able to manage.  This is why knowing Issue management in SAP projects is important.

Well managed SAP projects will have fewer issues and, less severe issues than projects that are poorly managed.  Issue Management is an important part of every SAP Project and it is expected that a successful SAP Project Manager knows the Issue Management process

So with Project Issues most certainly to occur on your project. let’s look at how to effectively and efficiently manage the resolution of the issues when issues occur.

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How to design your Issue Management Process?

The Issue management process should be determined and communicated to all project team members at the very start of the project. A good  Issue management process motivates all project stakeholders to raise issues rather than keeping quiet, and have a well-defined process for evaluating and managing the raised issues which are clearly understood by all stakeholders.

What is the issue log?

The Issue log, also referred to as the issue register is the tool that allows you to track, monitor, and manage your issues in s structured way.

The Issue log can be a simple Excel file, which is most common, but can also be an automated tool, such as a developed intranet page such as Microsoft SharePoint or Access.

When establishing your Issue Log there are some key considerations that you should be to ensure is included:

During the project, you will be facing different types of issues such as Project Management issues, Testing issues, Technical issues, Organizational issues, etc. You should decide if these issues to be captured and managed in one central issue log or multiple logs.

If multiple team members to be collaborating in maintaining the issues log you need to think in how to control user access and ensure the integrity of the content, to makes sure data is not overwritten by different users and allow multiple people updating at the same time if your team is large.

Issues resolution will in most cases require a series of events before the issue is resolved, and along the way, the priority and severity of an issue might change. you need to ensure that your issue log will allow for an audit trail of these events

To ease administration you should ensure that your reporting requirements on issues can be catered for easily by the structure of your issue log and the data maintained. For example, the Management team will require an issue summary focusing on priority and resolution deadlines where the Development team will need to have all the details for only issues related to the development work.

Are there dedicated Issue Management methods for handling Issues in SAP projects?

Yes. The are multiple Proven SAP Methodologies such as the  SAP ASAP Methodology and the New Agile SAP Activate Methodology, which provides all guidelines and templates for effective issue management in SAP projects.

Ready to become an expert in the new SAP Activate methodology?

Can the SAP Solution Manager help you manage Project issues?

SAP Solution Manager also referred to as SOLMAN, is if you ask SAP a tool for managing the full SAP Application life-cycle from design, through implementation to support. Since this is an SAP provided tool this should be the ideal tool for providing issue management in SAP projects.

With Issue Management, there is, however no functionality that is a perfect fit for providing an issue-log. 

There are two functions in SOLMAN that can be configured to provide an Issue-log functionality, but neither of them is ideal.

Use the SOLMAN Service Desk function to create an issue-log based using the service desk ticketing system.

The positive of this is that you will have a workflow for managing the communication and escalation of issues to the various team members.

The negative is that using the Service Desk functionality will likely require customization to allow for reporting of the issues, and also, there are limitations in what fields can be used and how it can be used

Use the SOLMAN Issue Management functionality. This functionality is designed to be used for recording, resolving, and escalating SAP system issues to SAP.

The positive is that it also has workflow capability and provides some reporting.

The negative is the field that can be customized is limited.

Neither of the SOLMAN options is in our view a good fit and most projects are better off using simple Excel in either a single accessible file or a multiple user files, or develop an issue-log in SharePoint or Access.

Finally, there is also a third option and this is to have your ABAPer make a customized table in SOLMAN or your SAP Development system to serve as an issue-log. This is an option that is often overlooked but is a very powerful solution as all your team members will have access to SAP so many of the multiple user challenges can easily be overcome.

Hope you enjoyed this first blog and now have a good understanding of the topic “Issue management in SAP projects”

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